Top tips for securing work devices when traveling

Top tips for securing work devices when traveling

Thanks to internet connectivity, you and your employees don’t have to be tied to your office desks to fulfill your tasks. Heck, you can even go to different countries and still do your job. You can use your laptop and smartphone wherever you please, work offline or online, and save files locally and/or on the cloud.

However, being able to travel and work practically anywhere has its price, especially when it comes to cybersecurity. Being off-premises means being outside the company’s perimeter defenses, so anyone working remotely and traveling abroad is more likely to encounter data thieves. In order to protect your company's data, you and your remote staff should secure your devices by following these tips:

Before traveling

Cross these items off your pre-departure checklist to ensure device and data safety.

Back up files

If you were to suddenly lose access to your files, you wouldn’t be able to work. It would be unfortunate if the company spent money for you to travel to other countries, only for you to fail at your mission because your files are inaccessible. To avoid this, back up the files you need before departure.

Ensure that anti-malware software programs are up to date

An anti-malware program checks incoming data for known signatures of viruses, worms, Trojans, and other types of malware. Once it detects malicious code, it prevents the malware from infecting a device. Since new malware programs are created all the time, their signatures need to be identified and added to the antivirus software’s database as soon as possible.

Transfer locally stored sensitive data

Even if you try your best to protect your devices, data thieves might still infiltrate your defenses. Therefore, it’s best to move sensitive data from your devices either to your company’s cloud or to removable storage media like external hard drives.

To further reduce the risk of sensitive data getting stolen, bring only the electronic devices you need to get work done while you're traveling.

Change passwords and PINs

You must change your passwords and PINs before leaving the country. You can also use LastPass, Bitwarden, or another password manager the company endorses.

For additional access security, have everyone use multifactor authentication (MFA).

Learn more about MFA and other ways for keeping your access secure by downloading our eBook, Is This Your Password?

Learn more about MFA and other ways for keeping your access secure by downloading our eBook, Is This Your Password?

While traveling

Besides keeping a watchful eye on your belongings, here are the things you should do to keep your devices secure:

Avoid public Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi in public spaces such as cafes, hotels, and airports is often unsecure, so connected users may be easily hijacked by hackers. Always seek more secure connections, or use company-issued virtual private networks (VPNs) if you have no choice but to use unsecure networks.

You and your staff must also disable the auto-join function of your devices when you’re using public Wi-Fi to minimize your exposure to unsecure connections.

Upon returning home

Securing your devices doesn’t stop upon returning to US soil. Here are the steps you and your employees must make upon settling back home:

Update security programs

There’s a chance that devices carry new malware from abroad. Updating their anti-malware program can help address those threats.

Change passwords and PINs once more

Regularly changing your access credentials over time or every time you travel is good practice because this applies an expiration date on stolen credentials. That is, if you create a new password, hackers can no longer use the old password they may have stolen from you. This prevents the hacker from accessing your account.

The steps for securing devices when traveling may be tedious, but these procedures can help ensure the security of company data. To learn more about how you can improve your company’s cybersecurity, turn to Healthy IT. Talk to our IT specialists today!